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nqth

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  1. wwd.com

    Rei’s ‘Guerrilla’ Approach

    By Miles Socha PARIS

    — Retail maverick Rei Kawakubo is about to unveil a campaign against shopping

    uniformity and architectural grandeur. Next month, in a remote neighborhood

    in the former East Berlin, Kawakubo plans to unveil her first Comme des

    Garçons “guerrilla†store, a temporary fashion operation whose concept is

    more akin to an artist’s squat than a luxury fashion temple.

    “It only lasts one year, and we don’t do anything to the place,†explained

    Adrian Joffe, managing director of Comme des Garçons in Paris. “We just go in

    there, clean it up and open for business.â€

    The 750-square-foot Berlin store, for example, will be in the gallery-studded

    frontier neighborhood Mitte, in a former bookstore located next to the

    Bertolt Brecht museum.

    Aside from the necessary fixtures for a fashion store — a sign, clothing

    racks, a cash desk and fixtures — the existing decor, or lack of it, is left

    intact. Joffe said the Berlin space, with its raw concrete walls and floor,

    has “incredible atmosphere,†but the idea is to put the focus on the

    merchandise. “What counts is the product,†he said in an interview.

    “What’s important is interesting, good products, not multimillion-dollar

    architectural interventions.â€

    A second guerrilla unit is slated to bow in Barcelona in early March.

    Other targeted cities include Vilnius in Lithuania, Ljubljana in Slovenia and

    Warsaw.

    “There’s a lot of interest from Eastern Europe,†Joffe noted. However, he

    said he could also envision guerrilla stores in other Western Europe

    countries and the United States.

    In each city, Comme des Garçons plans to partner with local entrepreneurs,

    who sign the lease and run the shop. Joffe said he and Kawakubo are charged

    with selecting the merchandise, an eclectic mix of new items from her various

    collections; selected out-of-season and vintage pieces, sneakers and other

    products are selected by the local partners.


  2. This is my reply actually - coudn't see it earlier

    Look for Sing or Queen cafes. Be aware that there are many "fake" Sing/ Queen cafes in Hanoi. You probably get best information by asking foreigners who stay longer there.

    Sapa, a beautiful mountain town close to the Chinese border is a must. It could also be a base for further "cruises" into the mountains. You can buy a trip from Sing, but you can also buy just train ticket and get there by yoursefl: Night (special) train, then bus (many in front of the station). Keep the train ticket, they always check it when you leave the station. Be sure to get to the Ming Hong Hotel and get a room with a view to the mountain. I paid around 120tys vndong/ night in April02. Mrs Hong (the owner) is the first woman-guide in VN, and among the first mountain-guide ever in VN. A wonderful woman.

    Hotels arrange trips for you. If you stay over the weekend you can go to Bac Thai market, the biggest one. You can buy everything in Hn anyway but "shopping" there is not the same. If you dare, go to the villages (with a guide:-) at night.

    In Hanoi there are some places that have good food. "Bun vit" in Hang Dao, infront of a big watches shop, it is right in the street. "Pho ga" at Yet Kieu str. only in the morning. "Bun lo`ng" at Hom bazaar. "Pho thin" lo duc street... I think you can ask the hotel staff and they will tell you which one is right. Remember to tell the cook "no fat, ko mi` chi'nh" mnosodium glutamate)

    Another must go is Hoi An. Be at 7-8 am at the local fish market. Someone might offer you a boat trip along the river for about 1 usd (15-20 min) (that happened to me:-) Ask hotel staff where to eat Cao Lau - as always, local rest. have better food than those for foreigners.

    And in Saigon, take a Mekkong boat trip to Can Tho with Sing. That 's fun.

    Enjoy, and make heavy bargain!!!

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